Dogs and Hooded Plovers – not a good mix
Penny Johns, our resident shorebirds enthusiast and expert, has reported that “the pair of Hooded Plovers on the ocean beach had laid three eggs, which were due to hatch around 14th November. This is only the second time in 20 years that they have attempted to breed on our beach. However 2 days ago, they were disturbed by people and an unleashed dog. They left the nest for too long and a raven came and ate the eggs as I watched! We are optimistic that they will re-lay, as they are still around and busy chasing off Silver Gulls.”
It is most unfortunate that this happened on a beach where dogs are banned, leashed or unleashed. Most people are aware that there is a beautiful dog beach north-east of the pier at the end of Cove Lane where dogs are free to roam without restriction, i.e leash free. Even on that beach, please make sure your dogs don’t interfere with the birds. The Sooty Oyster-catchers, White-faced Herons and Cormorants are less often seen than even two years ago.